Grand Challenges Scholars Program


About the Program

In 2008, the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) identified 14 Grand Challenges for Engineering in the 21st Century. To address these issues facing humanity, the NAE created the Grand Challenges Scholars Program (GCSP) to inspire college students to explore problems and opportunities that support the “continuation of life on the planet, making our world more sustainable, secure, healthy and joyful.”

As a Grand Challenges Scholar, students will select one Grand Challenge to research extensively alongside an SMU faculty member and/or an industry mentor. 

In addition to research, students build an interdisciplinary portfolio through coursework, engaging in impactful community service/service learning, performing entrepreneurial activities, and participating in multicultural encounters throughout their college career.
We encourage SMU undergraduate students from all disciplines to apply to the program. The application is open to first-year, sophomore, junior and transfer students who are in good academic and conduct standing (not on academic probation or suspension) with the University. 

If students are accepted into the program, they are expected to remain an active member until graduation.
  • Recognition, upon completion, at graduation by the National Academy of Engineering and SMU
  • Involvement in hands-on research and mentorship activities
  • Research funding of up to $2,000
  • Priority access to GCSP Talks and First-Friday Research Talks
  • Participation in special workshops and events 

Upcoming info session dates:

September 3, 2020 | 4:30 p.m.-5:20 p.m.
Location: Zoom, register here

September 9, 2020 | 5:30 p.m.-6:20 p.m.
Location: Zoom, register here

September 14, 2020 | 2:00 p.m.-2:50 p.m.
Location: Zoom, register here